Is there a more beloved woman in pop culture right now than Beyonce? It seems like Queen Bey can’t do anything wrong these days. When she cut her hair short (a move generally seen as a cry for help from most pop stars), America swooned and suddenly, the pixie cut was back in fashion. Not even naming her kid “Blue Ivy” could turn America off Beyonce. She’s one of those rare stars that is universally loved by men and women thanks to a blend of skills, beauty, and badass dance moves that even the best Zumba dancer fails to replicate. I’m not the least bit ashamed to say that when a Beyonce song comes on my workout mix, I run a little faster and sometimes even sing along (maybe that’s why I get so many strange looks?). Combine “all the women who independent” with a mogul of a husband in Jay-Z and the nation’s first child and you’ve got an icon, who will turn 32 on Wednesday. I’m sure she’ll celebrate in style on a yacht, but will feed herself her own grapes, because she’s somewhat down to earth for a gazillionaire.
Beyonce, in a world in which Miley Cyrus exists, we salute you:
Now, some notes and things to look forward to this week:
JUCO ATH/CB Michael Mathis keeps the Stoops train rolling
Many worried that a disappointing opening loss would slow Mark Stoops’ recruiting momentum, but so far that’s not the case. Two-star JUCO athlete/cornerback Michael Mathis committed to the Cats on Tuesday night, becoming the 24th member of UK’s 2014 class. Mathis plays for Kilgore Community College, where he was teammates with current UK players Steven Borden and Joey Herrick. Mathis is 6’2″ 205 lbs, and can play multiple positions, but was recruited by Derrick Ansley at cornerback, a spot that desperately needs some talent and depth. Last season, he had thirty-seven tackles and one interception. He visited campus back in July, and Kentucky was his only offer. That’s pretty much all we know about him, but if he can play half as mean as he looks in that picture, I think we’ll be set. If you’re keeping track, Mark Stoops and company still have three scholarships left to give in the 2014 class.
Bud Dupree will stay at Defensive End…for now
After mentioning that he may move Bud Dupree to linebacker on his radio show Monday night, Mark Stoops backtracked on Tuesday and said that the talented junior will stay at defensive end…for now. Stoops says that they need Dupree at the end, but DJ Eliot has scripted some plays for him in the 3-4 package at outside linebacker. The staff already decided to move one defensive end to linebacker in TraVaughn Paschal and so far, Stoops says Paschal’s adapting to the spot well.
As for the rest of practice, Stoops said that the group has “moved on” from Saturday’s loss, and he didn’t see anyone sulking. He’s also not afraid to try some new things to help the team find its identity:
“It’s a work in progress, as you know. And you know, that’s what we try to do. We have to see who we are again and we have to find the right game plan to go out and win. I’m never going to shy away from that. I’ve said that from day one. No matter who we’re playing, we need to find the right guys with the right scheme to put them in position to win and that’s what we’re always going to try to do.”
Boone’s Butcher Shop Injury Report
Cody Quinn and Nate Willis both practiced on Tuesday, and reporters say they walked off the field in full pads with no noticeable limps or braces.
Could a Tyler Ulis/Devin Booker package be forming?
On Tuesday, Tyler Ulis cut his list of schools down to three: Iowa, Michigan State and Kentucky. The pint-sized point guard will visit Michigan State and Kentucky this weekend along with his friend Devin Booker. The two have talked about playing together at the next level, and will attend the Alumni Game on Monday. The Courier-Journal’s Steve Jones spoke to Ulis on Tuesday to talk about his recruitment, and Ulis said that getting an offer from Calipari was pretty big considering his track record of putting point guards in the pros:
“It makes me feel like I can make my dreams come true because all of (Calipari’s) guards that he’s recruited have become pros and have had successful careers.”
Ulis also told Jones that he didn’t think his small size would be a problem at UK, and that he liked the idea of playing with Booker and Stanley Johnson at the next level. With Mudiay committed to SMU, Ulis may be Kentucky’s best option at point guard, and Booker is considered the nation’s second best shooting guard (ESPN), so it’s imperative that the Cats make a good impression this weekend, which I doubt will be difficult. Ulis says he hopes to make a decision in the next three weeks.
Kelly Oubre joins the party for Big Blue Madness
Kelly Oubre had been contemplating visiting Kentucky for Big Blue Madness and on Tuesday, the 2014 small forward made that official visit official. Here’s the guest list for both the Alumni Game and Big Blue Madness so far:
Alumni Game (September 9th)
2014: Jahlil Okafor, Devin Booker, Tyler Ulis
2015: Charles Matthews, Derrick Jones
Big Blue Madness (October 18th)
2014: Stanley Johnson, Kelly Oubre, Trey Lyles, James Blackmon, Jr., Rashad Vaughn
RIP Butler Blue II
Finally, farewell to one of the best mascots in college basketball, Butler Blue II, who passed away on Tuesday at the age of nine from congestive heart failure. I’ve got a soft spot for dogs, so naturally, I loved Blue II, who retired from the mascot game back in March. One of the cooler traditions in the sport is when Blue II (or now, Blue III) trots over to the student section at Hinkle to get a huge rawhide bone before the game. One of my friends is a passionate Butler fan and when Butler played Vandy in Nashville last season, Blue II and III visited his house for the photo-ops of a lifetime. Rest in peace, sweet pup.
I can’t end on a bad note. I asked you guys earlier to name which Harrison Twin was which in a picture released by UK. Turns out, we are becoming experts at this. Most of you guessed correctly that Aaron is the on the left, and Andrew on the right. Andrew has slightly longer hair right now, which means he can’t cut it all season or we’ll really be in the dark.
Lots more coming in the morning as we get you ready for Saturday’s game against Miami and Cal’s Fantasy Camp. See you then.